MANUFACTURING: Five Peaceful Hatters

On Chicago's South Side 60 years ago Jacob Portis proved better at raising a family than at selling real estate: his eight boys had to sell newspapers. Milton Portis, the eldest (now 62), worked his way through medical school. The two youngest, Bernard and Sidney (now 42 and 45), were put through by their older brothers. Three others, Isadore, Arnold and Theodore, went to work for a hat firm and in 1914 they and the remaining two brothers, Lyon and Henry, set up Portis Brothers Hat Co. They had $23,000 to start with, half borrowed from Dr. Milton, half from,...

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